Since opening in 1998, HKIA has been recognized by flyers and industry experts one of the best airports in the world. It’s located within five hours of more than half of the world’s population, but closer in that the biggest developing air market in the world is right on its doorstep.
Already the airport is close to capacity. It handles 72 million passengers a year and is the biggest international air cargo hub in the world, but projected growth in aviation will see passenger numbers increase to around 100 million by 2030. So there’s a clear case for growth.
What that means is the addition of a third runway, reclaimed from the sea, and that is already under construction. There will be a new infield terminal to serve more departure gates – 57 more, to be precise. This will be linked by an automated people mover to what will be the newly developed Terminal Two, which is now closed for redevelopment. As a result, for the first time passengers will be able to check-in and go airside without crossing over to Terminal One. Terminal Two will also be located in a new entertainment and retail development called Skycity.
To compensate for the temporary annexation of Terminal Two, there are two more check-in aisles in Terminal One to handle the additional passengers as building continues. And there’s good news for Cathay Dragon customers. The new Sky Bridge will link the remote terminal (North Satellite Concourse) from which many of Cathay Dragon’s short-haul services depart to Terminal One. This will eliminate the hassle of coach transfers, as well as offering a fantastic view over the airfield ahead of the third runway opening.
While the third runway is slated for completion in 2022, true three runway operations will not start until 2024. The existing north runway (the closest to the sea) will be resurfaced, and it will need new taxiways to connect it to the new runway and terminal building.
Long story short: by 2025, HKIA will be as speedy as ever to use – and for even more travellers.